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Be the Match Walk+Run
Columbus, OH 43215
Give in honor of Tracy
Columbus resident Tracy was diagnosed with sickle cell disease as a baby. He has received many blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant as part of his treatment.
You can give in honor of Tracy by giving blood at a Columbus area blood donor center (for info click here) and also joining Be The Match® on the marrow donor registry to help others who need a marrow transplant. And then participate in the Be The Match Walk+Run on Sat. August 17, 2013, to help raise awareness on this need for people like Tracy.
For more information, visit BeTheMatchWalkRun.org.
At the young age of two, Tracy Anderson can’t seem to get enough play time into his day. Although he loves doing puzzles and playing with toys, Tracy is unable to interact with other kids his age and he has already overcome more in his two years of life than many of us will experience in fifty years. Tracy was diagnosed with sickle cell disease through the Ohio Newborn Screening Program. Upon this discovery Tracy’s mother, Denise Boyd, was told that he would encounter many hospitalizations, medications and blood transfusions in his life.
That was the beginning of Tracy’s two year roller coaster with the disease. He became very sick when he was four months old. Doctor’s discovered that Tracy’s spleen only had five white blood cells when the ideal amount of white blood cells for a functioning spleen is 12. He was developing strong fevers and had to receive blood transfusions three times a day for a week. When Tracy was 10 months old he was receiving blood every 3 weeks for a total of 4 months.
As the months went on Tracy would experience different complications due to sickle cell disease. He had to have a hernia repair, two punch biopsies in his arm and he also suffered from asthma. In the first year of his life Tracy was hospitalized 120 times. In July of 2005 Tracy caught pneumonia twice in a period of three weeks. It was at this point that doctor’s asked Denise if she had ever considered a bone marrow transplant for her son.
Tracy’s family was immediately tested to see if anyone could be a donor match for him. His brother, DeShaun ended up being a perfect match, and Tracy was admitted to the hospital on May 7, 2006 for a marrow transplant surgery. Over the next two weeks, while the Anderson family waited to see if the transplant was successful, Tracy regularly received platelets. The eventual diagnosis – success! The transplant worked so well, in fact, that Tracy was released early!
Today, Tracy is doing very well. He is no longer spending large amounts of time at the hospital and has much more time to dedicate to doing puzzles and playing with his toys. Denise is grateful to those who donate blood. “It all saves lives, whether it is a little or a lot, all of it counts,” she said. “We should all donate blood so we can have it because you never know when you might need it.”
Across America 80,000 people suffer from sickle cell disease, and for many of them, regular blood transfusions are a must to survive. Unfortunately only 3 percent of the US population donates blood. Denise knows how important each and every donor can be. The need for minorities to donate blood is high. For people like Tracy, who have received multiple transfusions, the best match comes from people of the same ethnic, racial and genetic background. Blood donors from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are needed, because patients from all backgrounds need the life-saving gift of blood.
Please give the gift of life and help patients in need like Tracy.